TEL AVIV – Egypt favors Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the race to become the next president, fearing that a Democratic victory will be a “catastrophe” for the region as it will “arouse” the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State, an examination of the government press shows.
Even though the Egyptian government has officially said it has “nothing to do with” the outcome of the election, there have been abundant statements made by Egyptian President Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and senior officials that reflect the regime’s strong preference for Trump.
Following Al-Sisi’s meetings with both presidential candidates, media reports from the Egyptian government press translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) indicate that the president’s meeting with Trump was a warmer, friendlier and more open encounter than his appointment with Clinton.
Trump was praised for commending Egypt on its tough stance on terror and promised that under a Trump administration, the U.S. would be “a loyal friend to Egypt” and not simply an ally.
Trump’s foreign policy adviser Walid Phares described the meeting as “historic” and said that Trump was committed to “restoring the warmth to U.S.-Egypt relations, which are presently in a very difficult phase,” Egypt’s Al-Masri Al-Yawm noted. Al Watan reported that Trump also promised Al-Sisi to promote legislation designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
This is in stark contrast with Clinton, who is viewed with suspicion due to her past support for the protests against Hosni Mubarak’s regime and her disapproval of Al-Sisi’s ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood figure Muhammad Morsi in 2013. The government daily Al-Ahram claimed that Clinton’s personal aide, Huma Abedin, is a member of the Brotherhood and serves as Clinton’s liaison with the organization.
Al-Ahram editor Muhammad Abd Al-Hadi Allam described Trump as “a strong candidate who has proved his eligibility to [be president] throughout the campaign.”
Columnist Rania Hefny opined in Al-Ahram that Clinton’s foreign policy will be even more “inflexible than Obama’s” and warned that if she were to be elected, it would arouse the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization and the Gulf state of Qatar, as well as ISIS – in whose creation she participated – and the focus will be on exporting the conflict to many other Middle East nations.
“You would do well to remember that Hillary Clinton supported the escalation of the war in Afghanistan and pushed for the ongoing U.S. military presence in Iraq. She helped plan the attack on Libya and encouraged Obama to bomb Syria without obtaining the support of the [UN] Security Council,” Hefny wrote.
“Beware, beware, beware,” she added.
Pro-regime journalist Wael Al-Abrashi agreed, telling viewers of his show on Dream TV that Egyptians tend to support Trump because of Clinton’s known support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian Member of Parliament and head of the Foreign Relations Committee Ahmed Gad said that Clinton’s poor record as secretary of state caused innumerable problems for Egypt. Gad even labelled Clinton a liar. Regarding Trump, Gad wrote in Al-Masri Al-Yawm that “if elected president, he will uproot the Muslim Brotherhood spirit from the White House and purge the [U.S.] State Department of it. … Trump will never support the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In September, Gad told Breitbart News that “90 percent of Egyptians would prefer Trump because he will not cooperate with terrorists.”
On his show on Sada Al-Balad TV, journalist Ahmed Moussa lamented that the U.S. media supports Clinton and ignores “that poor guy” Trump, and accused Clinton and President Barack Obama of “rigging the election.”
Acting editor of the daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi, Karim Abd Al-Salam, wrote that if Clinton won she would continue the “chaos of the Obama years,” while Trump would cooperate with Egypt in combating terror and extremism.
Al-Sisi’s meeting with Clinton was “restrained,” Al-Salam noted, and his meeting with Trump “was totally different.”
“Trump focused on the one topic that unites Cairo and Washington: the struggle against the shared enemy of extremism and terrorism. [Trump] explicitly committed to work together with the Egyptian leadership in order to overcome this danger, while Clinton did not address [this issue at all], even though terrorist attacks have reached New York,” Al-Salam wrote, adding that a Clinton “administration will provide to violent and extremist organizations, chiefly the Muslim Brotherhood and Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
Al-Ahram editor Muhammad Sabreen claimed that while Trump will focus on joining forces with Egypt on the war on terror, Clinton will “blackmail” the Egyptian regime “into bringing the political Islamic organizations [back] into Egypt’s political arena.”
Al-Watan columnist Imad Al-Din Adib slammed Clinton’s hypocrisy, saying she “bemoans the human rights situation in Egypt, but not the crushing human destruction in Syria! What standards does Ms. Hillary have?!”